Unofficially founded in 1970 by Scott Wedge and Dave Rossum, E-mu began making modular synthesizers. In 1972, E-mu officially became a company, developing and patenting a digitally scanned polyphonic keyboard (1973), licensed for use by Oberheim Electronics in the 4-Voice and 8-Voice synthesizers and by Dave Smith in the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. E-mu, along with Solid State Microtechnologies, also developed several synthesizer module IC chips, that were used by both E-mu and many other synthesizer companies.
In 1993, E-mu was acquired by Creative Technology (the Singaporean parent company of Creative Labs) and began working on PC soundcard synthesis. Creative Wave Blaster II and Sound Blaster AWE32 used EMU8000 effect processor. Throughout the 1990s, E-mu made many different sound modules along the lines of the Proteus series. E-mu also made unsuccessful attempts at breaking into the digital multitrack recorder with the Darwin hard-disk recording system. In 1998, E-mu was combined with Ensoniq, another synthesizer and sampler manufacturer previously acquired by Creative Technology.